Haftar Holds the Upper Hand in Libya Power Struggle, The Cipher Brief


Imagine a multi-pronged, low intensity conflict. It’s been dragging on for five or so years. Sometimes this faction gains ground. Sometimes that. Or maybe it’s a third or fourth group. And then imagine a truce between two of the conflict’s numerous groups. Progress, you think. A first step toward ultimately reconciling all the other groups. Peace will surely break out.

Algeria Takes the Lead in Libya, The Cipher Brief


That Libya is a mess is beyond doubt, but who is actually trying to resolve the conflict is a harder question to answer.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently said that he sees no role for the U.S. in Libya and there seems to be no urgency to appoint a new U.S. Special Envoy for Libya after the previous one left four months ago. Paris is entirely preoccupied with its presidential elections, the outcome of which will be momentous for France and for the EU. To the extent that Italy engages with Libya, it is focused on Libya’s role as an entrepôt for human trafficking. Even Martin Kobler, the UN’s Special Representative to Libya, is on borrowed time. He was supposed to have been replaced earlier this year, but the proposed candidate was nixed. An alternative candidate was also rejected.

AQIM Ten Years On, The Cipher Brief


Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) emergence ten years ago this month was a Hail Mary. In 2004, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had orchestrated the second of two national amnesties in an attempt to finally bring an end to Algeria’s decade-old Islamist insurgency. The leader of one remaining terrorist organization, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), had just turned himself in. The GSPC’s new leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, inherited a dispirited group that was struggling to remain relevant. Algerians were tired of the Islamists, the insurgency, and the violence. By rebranding GSPC as AQIM in January 2007, Droukdel was able to transform a stale group into a newer, sexier one with a wider mission set.

Is Algeria Next for the Islamic State, The Cipher Brief


Fighting jihadi groups has been compared more than once to whack-a-mole. You thump a group here and it pops up there. You thump it again and it pops up somewhere else. A front is lost but another opens up. The challenging part is anticipating where the jihadis will go next. And this is precisely the question around the Islamic State in Libya: having lost their stronghold in Sirte, where did all the fighters go, and where are they likely to pop up?

« L’UE veut parler avec Bouteflika et elle n’est pas satisfaite par le fait de dialoguer simplement avec Sellal » Tout sur l'Algérie


Geoff Porter dirige la société North Africa risk consulting, spécialisée dans l’analyse des risques politiques et sécuritaires en Afrique du Nord. L’expert américain revient sur la polémique engendrée par l’article de Politico dans lequel il a été question des relations entre l’Union européenne et l’Algérie. Entretien.

Hunting Down Jihadists in the Malian Desert, FRANCE24


Two French soldiers died of their wounds this Wednesday after their vehicle hit a landmine in northern Mali on Tuesday. Seventeen French troops have now been killed in the Sahel region of West Africa since Paris first sent soldiers to Mali in 2013. More than 3,000 French troops remain on the ground and have managed to drive jihadist groups out of some zones, but they and their Malian counterparts lack the manpower to control the whole desert. Our colleagues from France 2 report from Mali.

How Realistic Is Libya as an Islamic State “Fallback”?, The CTC Sentinel


As the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria comes under pressure from the international anti-Islamic State coalition, there are increasing expectations that it is trying to develop its affiliate in Libya as a “fallback” option. The particular characteristics of the Libyan landscape and the Islamic State’s limitations there make this unlikely. Nonetheless, the Islamic State in Libya will still be a dangerous threat to North Africa and beyond, including across the Mediterranean.


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